Report Card: LSU

Tyler Russell looked sharp on some throws but still held the ball too long. (AP Photo/ Rogelio V. Solis.)

Tyler Russell threw two touchdowns but was sacked three times. (AP Photo/ Rogelio V. Solis.)

Overview: I expected a blowout win for LSU Saturday night and ultimately I was correct. I have seen Mississippi State send out some solid teams against the Tigers and still leave with lopsided losses. LSU just simply has MSU’s number having won 14-straight now and 21 of the last 22.

However, what I didn’t anticipate was the way State would play through three quarters of that game. The Bulldogs went blow for blow with LSU and even led for a span during the second quarter. It was a one score game heading into the fourth quarter.

But allowing four touchdowns in the final quarter turned a tight game into yet another stinker in this series.

I think this game said a lot about where Mississippi State is as a program in year five under Dan Mullen. Mullen has made the Bulldogs a respectable opponent but they are not ready to take the next step into the upper echelon of the SEC West yet as evidenced by competing for 45 minutes of a 60 minute game.

Quarterbacks: B+ Mullen proved once again that he can manage multiple quarterbacks effectively. I thought both Dak Prescott and Tyler Russell played well and each had their moments during the game. Prescott got the start and looked even a step faster than he has in previous games. His scrambling ability led to MSU’s first score but his passing accuracy still needs some work. Russell made some big time throws. His 20-yard touchdown pass to Jameon Lewis during his first drive was a thing of beauty. Russell still hangs onto the ball far too long which led to three sacks.

Running backs: B- The Bulldogs rushed for 216 yards but only 121 of those came from LaDarius Perkins and Josh Robinson. Perkins had 81 yards on 10 carries (8.1 avg.) while Robinson gained 40 yards on six attempts (6.7 avg.). State was effective running the ball but since the defense could not even slow down LSU the Bulldogs had to abandon the run and start throwing almost exclusively during the fourth quarter.

Wide receivers: B- Lewis has shown flashes of being a playmaker throughout his career but Saturday night he proved he can consistently doing. “Tubby” played at a very high level and seemed to be running for a purpose each time he got his hands on the ball. De’Runnya Wilson and Joe Morrow also made some big grabs in clutch situations to continue moving the chains and in Wilson’s case, take it in for the go ahead touchdown.

Tight ends: D+ I’ve complimented Malcolm Johnson for the past three years for having the best hands on the team. But Saturday night Johnson had a major case of the drops in some crucial situations. If he would have been able to snag those passes that fell incomplete it could have affected the scoreboard for the home team. Johnson did make two catches for 19 yards and the tight ends did block pretty well during the game.

Offensive line: B+ While LSU’s defensive front may not be its most talented in recent memory, I thought the Bulldogs line did a good job opening up running lanes and providing the quarterback adequate time in the pocket. I’ve been very impressed with how Dylan Holley has fared in two starts at center. Both left tackle Blaine Clausell and right guard Ben Beckwith went down late in the game and the extent of their injuries looms large for Mississippi State moving forward.

Defensive line: A- I was highly impressed with the job the Bulldogs defensive line did Saturday night applying pressure to Zach Mettenberger and stuffing the run for the most part. True freshman Chris Jones played his best game to date and Preston Smith finally had the impact on a game that I thought he would this season. Kaleb Eulls also had his best game of the season after barely being noticeable during the first four games.

Linebackers: C- Benardrick McKinney and Deontae Skinner have been the catalysts for the Bulldogs defense this season. But Saturday night, neither made much of an impact. Skinner and Matthew Wells each were credited with a tackle for loss. Beniquez Brown’s missed tackle on 3rd-and-2 in the first quarter resulted in a 69-yard touchdown run for Jeremy Hill.

Defensive backs: F Only three of Mettenberger’s 29 pass attempts fell to the turf of Scott Field with one incompletion being picked off by Nickoe Whitley. Mettenberger carved up the State secondary all night long finding Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry wide open time after time. The few times the Bulldogs were in position to make a play, Beckham Jr. or Landry simply went up and took the football. Dee Arrington did make a huge play on the goal line to force a fumble even though the official stat sheet gave the credit to A.J. Jefferson.

Special Teams: C+ The combination of good and bad among the special teams units evens out to an average night. Lewis had 90 kickoff return yards including a 46-yarder but muffed his only punt return attempt for no gain. Devon Bell made a pair of field goals including his first from the 30-39 yard range this season but hooked a critical 42-yarder late in the third quarter in what would be the Bulldogs final scoring opportunity. Bell only had one touchback in six kickoff attempts but the coverage unit did a good job limiting returns.

Coaching: C+ As with special teams, there is some good and bad here. The offensive play-calling was solid for the most part although I thought Russell should have been used more early on in the fourth quarter once State fell behind by two scores and were in obvious passing offense the rest of the way. The two-point conversion call to start the game was just plain stupid, especially considering the previous play that wasn’t executed the way it was designed either. I did like the way Geoff Collins defense attacked the quarterback but the coverage is still far too soft and made it an easy pickings for Mettenberger and his receivers.

I have covered Mississippi State in some capacity since 2004 and joined the Daily Journal staff in 2013. I enjoy short walks on the beach, performing concerts in my car and watching professional wrestling.

Posted in Football
  • Brendan Duffy

    I guess I agree with most of that but what about the future? When is somebody going to ask Mullen WHEN we are going to be better. Most agree that we are no better than 10th in a 14 team league. We are heading for another 5-7 season (like Mullen’s 1st). He says we are young, only 12 seniors, Bama only has 4 more, not sure about the others. Unless some of the freshmen transform over the summer, or our recruiting class is way better than it seems, we are destined for at least a few more years of the same. Is that worth what we pay him?

  • Guest

    I agree, I listened to his 20 minute press conference and nobody will ask him a tough question….for example….why the hell did you go for 2? Instead we get questions like, how would your life be different if you had not coached at Bowling Green? Or, what would Dan Mullen ten years ago say to Dan Mullen today? Who the BLEEP cares. It’s 20 minutes of Dan Mullen butt kissing. He stated in so many words that he loves his life….well of course you do Mullen! You make loads of money and no one is holding you accountable to any results. To say I’m frustrated would be an understatement. Please prove me wrong!

  • Wesley Grissom

    The mindsetof you guys that commented have is exactly what the fanbase has to get away from. Yes we pay him millions but the fact is that only 3 coaches in the conference make less and they are all either 1st or 2nd years in the programs.
    Brendan you can’t compare us to Alabama. They have at least 3 deep 5 star prospects at every position. We have to take 3 stars and develop them and that takes time. Before Mullen arrived we had 7 losing seasons in 8 years. We can’t go from doormat to contender over night. We are going to have a few years of mediocre first. I should point out to you that Jackie Sherrills 5th year was a 3-8 year coming off an 8 win Peach bowl season and year 6 was 5-6. Its just simply going to take Mullen or any coach that comes into a program like ours time to get over the hump. Spurrier took 7 years at SC and he’s a legendary coach. Same with Frank Beamer at VT and he’s a legend. Patience is key with this program. The very fact that we are even having this discussion is a testament to how far Mullen has already brought us. Lets give him time to finish.

    • Guest

      Wesley,

      His pay relative to other coaches in the conference is irrelevant. Look at this pay relative to all the other coaches across the country.
      “Lets give him time to finish”…could you please include a time frame with this statement. I know there any many different opinions going around on how much longer his tenure should last. I think his time is up and we have seen the best Dan Mullen has to offer. However, I do respect your opinion on the matter but I feel you should back your statement up with a time frame. It is too easy to just sit there and say…give him more time. The number one concern is giving him all this time to finish and the program suffering for years to come as a result. Auburn unloaded a coach that I believe was only 2 years removed from a national title and it is currently paying huge dividends for that program. As much as I dislike Auburn, one has to respect a program that can make and act swiftly on tough decisions like that one.

      Mississippi State has plenty of talent. Dan has done a good job recruiting off of his early success. State desperately needs a good football coach. The longer we wait, while continuing to lose ALL the games that matter, the worse our recruiting classes get. That will set State back for many years.

      • Wesley Grissom

        His pay relative to the rest of the conference is not irrelevant its the entire point. We aren’t competing with the rest of the country we are competing within the confernce. But since you brought it up lets see who pays more than we do in the rest of the country, Alabama, Texas, Oklahoma, Ohio State, LSU, Iowa, South Carolina, Auburn, Oregon, TCU, Oklahoma, State, Michigan, Arizona State, Georgia, Nebraska, Florida State, Missouri, Wisconsin and Cal. All those schools have much bigger athletic budgets than MSU does and with a couple exceptions are all traditional powers that have no issue getting top line recruits.

        Recruiting is always going to be an issue. Its tough to recruit successfully in this conference. Auburn’s class is currently 15th in the nation and they rank 8th in the SEC. One of the top classes in the nation and its lower half of the conference. Tough to compete with the Alabama’s and LSU’s when we don’t have the resources and top 15 recruiting classes aren’t good enough.

        The Auburn fanbase was unhappy when Chizik was hired. The only reason he won the NC was because he had an amazing player in Cam Newton. We see what he did without him. They replaced him with a guy that helped recruit most of the current Auburn starters and a guy familiar with the program. He already had a leg up.
        I wish I could give you a timeframe to back up my opinion but I am afraid thats impossible. It seems from looking at other programs that were similar to where ours was when Mullen got here that 8 or 9 years is where it starts to really click. One thing i know for sure is a program like ours will never go anywhere if we are changing coaches every 5 years or so. We start over every time we do that.

        Coaches need to move on when the program starts to decline(see Gene Chizik, Auburn, and all the other MSU coaches). We have no idea how this season is going to end up. I have said this many times we are beating the teams we are supposed to beat. Now we have to figure out how to win when we aren’t suppose to. I personally don’t see how you can say that “we have seen the best Mullen has to offer” I think you need to back that up. Anybody can say that somebody else is never going to be anything more than what he is thats easy to say. How can you know for sure that best isn’t yet to come. Go look at Sherrills MSU tenure, go look at Spurrier’s SC tenure and Frank Beamer’s VT tenure. I bet those schools are glad that they didn’t boot those coaches after some “fans” viewed them as failure’s in 5 years.

        • Guest

          Ok so you listed 20 schools that pay more than State. How many does that leave below State? Answer: A LOT!

          “We aren’t competing with the rest of the country we are competing within the conference.”

          First, if you are looking to win a national title, you are competing with everyone. State recruits against the rest of the country. The college football ranking system is designed to include the rest of the country. All highly desired college football accolades (Heisman, Maxwell, Walter etc.) are compared with players across the nation.

          “Recruiting is always going to be an issue. It’s tough to recruit successfully in this conference.”

          Our program has momentum to build on including the stadium renovation, new facilities, and the opportunity to play in the SEC West. TV coverage will soon be available for all SEC schools every week. IMO, we should see more parody going forward in the SEC as kids choose schools based on playing time and the ability to go 3-NFL.
          Sherrill, Spurrier and F. Beamer were all proven head coaches at other schools before they arrived at MSU, SC, and VT respectively. Sherrill and Spurrier had won the NC with other schools. Mullen is a first time head coach and give the 4.5 seasons we have seen so far…yeah I think we have seen the best. I make this statement with historical results to look over. It is not just some fly by night response to a loss. We should be able to get someone proven given the fact that there are only 20 schools that pay more money.

          “Coaches need to move on when the program starts to decline.”

          So let us look at Mullen in two ways. First, Mullen verses the rest of the country.

          Season 1: 5-7
          Season 2: 9-4
          Season 3: 7-6
          Season 4: 8-5
          Season 5: 3-3

          Second, Mullen verses the conference. (This being your preference)

          Season 1: 3-5
          Season 2: 4-4
          Season 3: 2-6
          Season 4: 4-4
          Season 5: 0-2

          While these results may not be a decline, it is surely not an incline. More like middle of the road while paying top dollar.

          I am sorry to say, but it is the defeatist thinking like this that I feel keeps State from moving forward. If everyone thinks this way then State will always be at the bottom looking up at the “traditional powers.”
          How did Oregon do it?

          • Wesley Grissom

            I see several flaws in your logic.
            1. In order to compete for national titles you first have to be able to compete in your own conference. In this case if you can win the SEC there’s no doubt you can compete with the rest of the country. In order win an individual accolade like you list the players have to compete with the entire country thats true but thats irrelevant to the team competing if you don’t make it out of conference.
            2. Yes State does compete win the whole country for recruits but the reality of that is that for the most part school stay fairly close to home when recruiting that puts our main recruiting base right in the middle of the conferences recruiting footprint. It’s a harsh reality when you realize you can have a top 15 recruiting class and still be falling behind in the conference because you rank 8th in the conference in recruiting. Considering our recruiting footprint the SEC network is going to have little to no effect on recruiting. Don’t know if you have realized this or not but almost all SEC games see a national audience week in and week out. MSU has proven we can put kids in the NFL. 16 players from the Mullen era are currently on pro rosters. If kids were going to school based solely on NFL potential and playing time then Alabama and LSU wouldn’t get all the 5 star recruits they do. It seems more likely to me that these kids are going to Alabama and LSU because of their tradition. We don’t have that to attract the kids. We have to work at that and build it over time.
            You helped make my point. Yes Spurrier, Beamer and Sherrill were all proven coaches. Thats just it. They were proven and they went into situations very similar to what Mullen walked in to and it took them 7,8, 9 years to build up. Mullen is a first time head coach and only in year 5. Why would you expect him to be there already when 3 different coaching legends took longer than he has had? Those legends hadn’t shown their best in 5 years why should we think Mullen has? You also make my point that Mullen is not declining. I see signs in fact with all the young talent on this team that in the next year or two they will make the next step and we are still paying bottom dollar in our conference. This is not defeatist thinking its the harsh reality of the league we compete in. It takes time for a traditionally mediocre team to build to the point they can succeed in the toughest conference in football. I have no idea how Oregon did it and thats not important to how we have to do it. I would about guarantee you that Oregon has a much bigger athletic budget than we do and that certainly helps.
            Keep in mind our starting poin 5 years ago. 7 losing seasons in 8 years. Thats Jackie’s last 3 years and the whole Croom era
            2001 3-8, 2-6 conference lost toTroy
            2002 3-9, 0-8
            2003 2-10, 1-7 lost to Tulane, Houston, Kentucky and blown out by Ole Miss in the Egg bowl

          • Guest

            State is competing week in and week out with the rest of the
            country in several different categories.
            I think I made this point quite clear.
            I understand the SEC West conference is included in this equation; I do
            not follow the flaw in this logic as you have explained. Simply put, Mullen is the 21st
            highest paid coach in the country. In my
            opinion, there are plenty of proven coaches out there that currently make far less and could
            do a better job.

            I understand almost all SEC games are televised. I was alluding to the upcoming SEC Network
            Channel. On recruitment, the reality is if
            you want to go to the next level in recruitment, your footprint is the entire
            US. See Alabama’s 2013 class as an
            example. The fact of the matter is that most
            kids go to school that win (or as you put it…school with tradition). Fact: Winning is something currently eluding State.
            Having said all this, let’s be sure to include the known fact that one cannot
            assume you will have a good football team just because you have a stable orf4 and 5
            star recruits. See Mack Brown with the
            Texas Longhorns. You clearly need a good
            football coach and staff to compliment your recruits.

            “You helped make my point. Yes Spurrier, Beamer and Sherrill
            were all proven coaches. Thats just it.”

            I am completely lost on this one. Plain and simple, comparing Dan Mullen to
            Spurrier, Beamer and Sherrill is like comparing apples to oranges. The others had a track record as head coaches
            while Dan the Man is a true experiment at the position. You cannot compare the two. I don’t think you want to assume that Mullen
            is in this class of coachs either…that would be a whole new level of crazy.

            “Going from doormat to champion isn’t going to happen in one big
            step, it’s going to come with lots of small baby steps.”

            While I tend to agree to some extent, this is not what Dan the Man was saying two years ago. Instead, he was talking about SEC Championships
            and National Titles in Starkville. Now
            he has the masses defeated and talking about baby steps, while plugging the
            need for stadium sell outs and asking fans to stay the whole game. He dismisses losses with explanations such as
            the following: Well uh…yeah…if we make two
            plays here and take away that play there…that other one there…we would have
            won. Humorous!

            My friend, I am looking at the big picture. As a matter of fact, looking at the big
            picture requires also looking at the past.
            The past is something that seems all too easy for you and several others
            to forget. I see a head coach who has
            over promised while under delivering. I
            see a fan base that is now for some reason OK with this. He said before this season started that 8 wins
            is the new normal in Starkville and now all the sudden you and many others are
            talking of baby steps and just making excuse after excuse for Dan the man. A new coach WILL NOT have to start over…just
            another lame excuse to stay the course with Mullen. He needs to depart at the end of this season
            for this program to move forward. That
            is just my honest opinion. In the end I
            want to achieve the same results you desire…a winning program that can compete
            on the national level.

          • Wesley Grissom

            So if I follow your logic here and I am not sure I do you are saying that Dan needs to go because he told everybody he could win championships and he hasn’t done it in 5 years? Do I have that right?

            You are totally missing my point when I brought up Spurrier, Beamer, and Sherrill. I know they had success at other schools. I know Mullen is a first time head coach. My point is those 3 proven coaches walked into those programs that were in about the same shape State was when Mullen got here. It took Spurrier 7 years to turn around South Carolina, Beamer took 9 years to turn around Tech, Sherrill took 8 years to win the West at State. Dan has only been at State 5 years and you expect him to do in 5 years what it took legends like Beamer, Sherrill, and Spurrier longer to do at their schools? I am sorry but that’s just not realistic. I am curious who it is you think would come here for what is poor pay when you look at the rest of the SEC and do better than Mullen. Any new coach will basically have to start over. He’ll have to recruit players that he needs for his system so won’t happen overnight.

            “State is competing week in and week out with the rest of thecountry in several different categories.” Kind of lost as to what you mean there. If you mean individual players competing with other players in the rest of the country I should point out to you that football is a team sport and as a TEAM we do not compete week in and week out with the rest of the country. We first have to compete in the SEC.

            Talk about comparing apples to oranges you can’t compare Alabama and MSU that’s really apples and oranges. Bama has one of the biggest athletic budgets in the country. We can’t afford to recruit the entire country and even if we could like you and I both have said already those 4 and 5 star kids are going where they can win big and right now we haven’t built our program to that point.

            I remember when Mullen arrived he was talking championships I totally agree with you there what I never heard him say though was that he would get us there in 5 years or less. He can still deliver on that promise. I am not sure where you and some of the rest of the fanbase got this idea that 5 years is enough time to get that done. Jackie went 3-8 his 5th year here. Frank Beamer hadn’t won more than 6 games a year at VT and went 5-6 his 5th year. Spurrier had 3 7 win seasons an 8 win season and a 6 win season his first 5 years at SC. As you said and I agree with you can’t put Mullen in their league, at least not yet. Those legends weren’t producing in year 5 in those programs. Is it realistic to expect something from Mullen who you admit isn’t in their league that 3 legends couldn’t do?

            You are darn right I’ll take 8 wins being the new norm in Starkville over 3 wins anyday and I think most any true fan would. Now that we have established the new norm we are starting to get the Chris Jones, the Ashton Shumperts and the De’Runnya Wilson’s and the Jessie Jackson’s coming to Starkville to play given enough time to recruit more players like this with the new facilities Mullen helped the department build and the new norm of 8 wins we can start to build toward 10 wins being the new normal.

            I hate it for you and some of the other members of our fanbase if you built up unrealistic expectations for how long this should take. Don’t blame Dan because you unrealistically expected this to be a quick process. If you remember during the same press conference that Dan was talking about championships when he got here he was talking about being here for a long time. Not once did he say I can do this in 5 years. I think you need a serious reality check.

          • Guest

            Unfortunatly, you do not have it right. I feel Dan needs to go for several reasons. The number one reason being that he is not a good head football coach. Great O. Cooridnator, as he has proven in the past, just not up to the task of being the head coach. Just my opinion.

            You are missing my point on the coach comparisons. You are recklessly assuming that Mullen will be able to accomplish what those “legends” did given a longer tenure. I am simply saying that these coaches were proven winners before they turned their respective programs around. It is dangerous to assume Dan Mullen will achieve the same results if given all the time he needs. You need to look Mullens performace thus far to properly evaluate his probability of success. My analysis: NO CAN DO.

            Poor pay realtive to the rest of the SEC, but large pay relative to the country. I’m not sure why you continue to look the other way with this fact. There are only 20 coaches in the country that make more as you pointed out in an earlier post. A new coach will not have to start over…there is a great deal of talent at State that is currently not being coach up well enough. How about the Texas Tech coach!

            For the second time, State competes with teams across the county either on the field with non conference games, in a nation wide ranking system, for recruits, for TV time, for brand recognition etc.

            I was not comparing Alabama to Mississippi State, I was using Alabama as an example of a school who successfully recruits out of the SEC footprint. Clearly, recruiting outside the SEC footprint has proven to be a fruitful strategy given Alabama’s on field success. In your comments you dismissed recruiting outside the SEC footprint. I just wanted to inject some points that would supported the venture.

            I will take 13 wins in Starkville! I respect your 8 wins as well. How many is Dan the man going to get this year?
            I admire the list of players you presented, that is one of the main reasons why I think a new coach would be far from starting over.

            Lastly, I do not have unrealistic expectations for Dan Mullen or any kind of time frame to reference. I have watched his coaching at State the last 4.5 years and I am simply saying that in my opinion he does not retain the skills needed to take State to the next level. Sadly, that next level is being able to even compete in “games State is supposed to lose”. FYI I dislike when people use “games State is supposed to lose”. It is embarrissing to see what I call “Mullenites” use that phrase. It is an example of a defeatist statement used to excuse losses and essentially kick the perverbial can down the road.

          • Wesley Grissom

            What evidence do you have that Dan can’t be as good as those other coaches or that he is not a good head coach? Let me help you there. You have nothing and honestly none of us do. Facts are Mullen has taken a team that had 7 losing seasons in 8 years and has 3 winning years in 4 season and got to 30 wins faster than any coach in MSU history.

            I am not recklessly assuming anything, my point being even a successful coach like the three I named needed more time than 5 years to turn programs around. It is absolutely foolhardy for you to expect Mullen, who you say isn’t head coaching material, to accomplish something in 5 years that even proven coaches couldn’t do. I guess you must have a crystal ball the rest of us don’t have. How can you look at performance to date and say no can do? 30 wins faster than any previous coach, 3 winning seasons in 4 years, 2 New Years day bowl games, an 8 win season and a 9 win season. Thats bad performance to you? Thats a guy that can’t coach? You really must have high standards then.

            I am not looking the other way. Yes only 20 coaches make more than Mullen and at least 18 of those are from schools that have the history and tradition that we are trying to build. I am not sure why you keep fixating on money like this. Any coach that comes in here will have the same issue we have right now. Coaches all coach differently so yes a new coach would need time to recruit to fit his style it would be like starting over.

            “For the second time, State competes with teams across the county either on the field with non conference games, in a nation wide ranking system, for recruits, for TV time, for brand recognition etc.” We are winning the majority of our nonconference games, and you don’t compete for spots in the rankings those are based on how you play week in and week out. Somebody loses and you win you move up its that simple rankings are not direct competiion, we don’t comepte for TV time, thats all set up for us thanks to the conference we play in. I will give you the recruits and brand recognition though.

            As far as Alabama recruiting goes I’ll say this again they have a much larger athletic budget than State does and can afford to recruit the whole country. We can’t. I saw somebody say this the other day, if all of you people that are complaining about the coach and the recruits would give 50 dollars each to the athletic department instead of complaining then maybe we can afford to go find those recruits.

            I’d definately take 13 wins in Starkville but you aren’t going to make a quick leap from 3 to 13. You have to build to get there. Most teams that are consistently winning 10, 11, 12 games a year have built that tradition though decades of work. We are just starting that journey. You asked how many wins I think we’ll get this year. I think at least 7, not that Dan will get any credit for that when we do because everybody thinks we only win “big” games because the other team was down.

            “Games we are supposed to lose” is not a defeatist statement at all especially in the SEC. How many teams in the nation can you legitimatly say are supposed to beat Florida, LSU, Alabama, Georgia every year? Those are teams that the rest of the nation expects to win every week. So yeah according to the rest of the country those are games we are supposed to lose and most of the country would be expected to lose its not just State. Those are the ones we have to figure out a way to win now. We do and before you know it we are one of those teams people are supposed to lose to.

          • Guest

            “What evidence do you have that Dan can’t be as good as those other coaches or that he is not a good head coach?”

            Answer: The last half of last season and the first half of this season. I am going to spare the details to give my fingers a rest. However, I will share one big one…you go to Alabama 7-0 and roll over, but it was all on the players right? Then State gets bull rushed by A&M, LSU, and Ole Miss. Again, all the player fault. Note: State did not just lose a close game to these opponents…they got demolished.

            “30 wins faster than any coach in MSU history.” Why dont we dig a little deeper into all those ultra impressive wins and see who the opponents were? Again, I will spare my fingers the duty, mostly non-conference cup cakes wins. Wins against fluff is what lead to all the impressive stats, win totals, and bowl apperances you commented on. So NO, im not sold on his “performance”. Win a “game your not supposed to” for god sakes.

            I can give a proven coach the benefit of the doubt and give more time because I know they are capabile of accomplishing the task at hand. I do not feel an unproven coach should be afforded the same luxury. There is 4.5 year of history and I dont see the potential.

            A new coach would not have to start over. You are assuming the new coach cant work with the players we have. There are plenty of successful first year coaching stories. Dont let the unknown scare you into submission.

            State is in direct competition with other schools to be ranked as high as possible.

            State already recruits outside the SEC footprint. Large athletic budget or not. A large athletic budget does not equal automatic success…see the Texas Longhorns. Biggest budget, aweful coach. Result, lossing football team.

            “I think at least 7, not that Dan will get any credit for that when we do because everybody thinks we only win “big” games because the other team was down.”

            Seven is a pipe dream. Who are the four remaining teams we beat? You are crazy if you can honestly tell me that Auburn and Arkansas last year played at their typical level. They were down and that is a fact.

            “Games we are supposed to lose” is a defeatist statement when leaving the mouth of a bulldog fan. That is a fact. I could not care any less who the rest of the country thinks we should and should not beat.

          • Wesley Grissom

            Lets see. I count losses to 3 top 10 teams who beat up on the entire conference last year, to include the team that has won 3 of the last 4 national championships and beats up on everybody, a fluke win by Ole Miss

            I challenge you to “dig back into the history” of all the other coaches we have had. The nonconference schedule is always loaded with cupcakes, difference now is we don’t lose to cupcakes. Only the USC’s, Bama’s, Texas and Notre Dame’s of the world don’t play cupcakes for nonconference.

            So if you don’t give an “unproven” coach(and I disagree with you that he’s unproven) the same luxury that you give to a proven one then you have unrealistic expectations. It takes any coach proven or not time to turn a loser into a winner. Thats been my point all along. You keep bringing up defeatist attitude, let me tell you what a real defeastic attitude is. Firing a coach every 4 to 5 years because “I don’t see the potential” No you don’t see the potential you only see the bottom line, win/loss record. There’s tons more to it than that and if you don’t believe me then I just can’t make you.

            I keep telling you rankings are not a competion between football teams. Competion is playing head to head and seeing who is better. Rankings are a result of winning your games so unless you can tell me that we play every single team in the country every single game then we are not competing with the nation for rankings. Again if you don’t believe that then there’s nothing I can say to make you believe me. But its just a ridiculous statement and attitude on your part.

            There are plenty of successful first year coaching stories? Yeah maybe so but not at programs like ours.

            A large athletic budget does allow you more access to recruits around the country. Bama has that huge budget, so they can afford to go to California and recruit those kids. Our budget is smaller, I think the furtherest away we have a recruit from in the next class is Florida. We simply can’t afford to go to the 4 corners of the country to recruit.

            I don’t think 7 is a pipe dream at all. I have said for weeks now i think we can beat South Carolina. My 4 remaining wins are against UK, South Carolina, Arkansas and Ole Miss, at least 3 out of those 4 will get us to a bowl and we will win in our low tier bowl game thats 7. Yeah I will admit Arkansas and Auburn were down last year so what?

            So “games we are supposed to lose” is a defeatist statement coming from an MSU fan but not coming from a fan of another team. What kind of riduculous double standard is that?

            Firing Mullen right now would be like when Ole Miss fired David Cutcliffe, who was a first time coach, for no good reason. They still really haven’t recovered from that even with Houston Nutt.

            By the way if you are going to say that we compete nationally for rankings every week then you can’t say you don’t care what the rest of the nation thinks about who we should and should not beat. You can’t have it both ways.

            If one thing is obvious at this point its that you and I will never agree on anything. I think I am right you think you are right. So lets just agree to disagree and move on. GO DAWGS!!!!!

          • Guest

            “I challenge you to “dig back into the history” of all the other coaches we have had.”

            A total waste of time. The issue at hand is Mullen, Mullen’s history, and the progression of the Mississippi State program. Talking about history is just like when Michigan fans resort to speaking about their storied history due to the fact that their current football team sucks.

            So Dan Mullen is a proven coach? Your standards are extemely low my friend.

            “No you don’t see the potential you only see the bottom line, win/loss record.”

            Not true at all. I would actually make the argument that all you see is the bottom line. For example, last year you speak of the 8-4 season with the bowl apperance. This looks great on paper. You know what I saw? I saw the fashion in which we lost those game. I listened to how the coach explained those losses. State got thrown around. The bowl game was a joke. I could give more details, but you can do the research yourself. If it were just about wins and losses then 8-4 would be successful and I would have no issue with the current coach.

            Fine Bill Clinton….NCAA football ranking is an indirect competition between schools across the country.

            “There are plenty of successful first year coaching stories? Yeah maybe so but not at programs like ours.” YOU ARE DEFEATED!

            “I think the furtherest away we have a recruit from in the next class is Florida. We simply can’t afford to go to the 4 corners of the country to recruit.” This is false.

            “I don’t think 7 is a pipe dream at all.”
            I did not know that seven included a bowl win. So they win 3 more reagular season. Mightly tall order for this coach.

            So “games we are supposed to lose” is a defeatist statement coming from an MSU fan but not coming from a fan of another team. What kind of riduculous double standard is that?

            Are you serious. Ok, I walk into a bar wearing a Mississippi State jersey. I am at the bar with a friend who happens to be an A&M fan an we are watching the two teams play each other on televison. I look over to the A&M fan and say “this is a game we are supposed to lose”. I AM DEFEATED!
            The A&M fan says “yeah you should lose this game”. How is he defeated by stating a team he cares nothing for should lose the game? I fail to see the double standard here.

            Where is Davis Cutcliffe now…oh he is a big time winner now at the mose impressive national powerhouse of Duke. Huge loss to Ole Miss.

            “If one thing is obvious at this point its that you and I will never agree on anything. I think I am right you think you are right. So lets just agree to disagree and move on. GO DAWGS!!!!!”

            Sounds good…thanks for the entertaining conversation. GO DAWGS!!!

          • Wesley Grissom

            http://www.saturdaydownsouth.com/recruiting/which-program-went-farthest/

            Last post and then we can agree to disagree. My statement about Florida being the furtherest we went for a recruit in this class is not false there it is in black and white.

            Digging back into history is not a waste of time. You are expecting things from Dan that nobody has been able to do and besides you are the one that brought up historical facts so I was just giving you another one.

            Last year’s team would have been a 3 win team with our previous coaching. This year probably 2 with previous coaching.

            No saying we have no chance to win this game. That is a defeatist statement. Saying we are supposed to lose this game is not lots of teams win games that the people that vote in the polls say they are supposed to lose. Thanks for the debate but neither of us will ever make the other see our point. Let them fire Dan, watch what happens in 3 or 4 years and you’ll understand what I have been telling you.

          • Guest

            It is still false…the link you provided is a list of commits. Please find a list of all the players State has extended an offer. You will find, in black and white, player outside the footprint and farther than Florida that have offers from State.

            I don’t care about our win total with previous coach. That is done and gone. I am looking forward.

            Lets fire Dan and you will be thanking me later.

          • Guest

            Here is the black and white proof (link) that shows State has offers to kids outside the SEC footprint.

            http://espn.go.com/college-sports/football/recruiting/school/_/id/344/class/2014/page/offers

          • Wesley Grissom

            Ok so we have offers out to kids outside the footprint. I never said we didn’t send offers outside the footprint. So we made 2 or 3 offers to kids on the West Coast. Doesn’t mean that we visited them, or they visited us but you were right does that stroke your ego enough?

            BTW your example about going into the bar with a friend from A & M was so not the point about defeatist thinking. My point was you said “”Games we are supposed to lose” is a defeatist statement when leaving the mouth of a bulldog fan” I can’t believe I am having to explain everything I saw obviously you don’t comprehend what you read. When I said “So “games we are supposed to lose” is a defeatist statement coming from an MSU fan but not coming from a fan of another team. What kind of riduculous double standard is that?” An MSU fan is discussing the up coming game with Alabama with another MSU fan and one says to other this is a game we are supposed to lose. According to you thats defeatist thinking. Same thing happens except now its two Arkansas fans talking about the upcoming LSU game and thats not defeatist thinking? you said coming from the mouth of a bulldog fan it is. So you think if anybody else says it about their team that it isn’t?

          • Guest

            Wow…let’s go with this to clarify Bill Clinton. If a fan says “those are games we are supposed to lose” about the team they follow…they are defeated. I used a bulldog fan in the example provided since that is the team we follow. You can replace Mississippi State and A&M in that example with any team in the country and get the same result.

            A fan of team X (XFan) walks into a bar to meet his friend. His friend is a fan of team Y (YFan). They are watching team X play team Y on television. XFan says to YFan, “It’s a game we are supposed to lose.” Defeated!

            YFan says “yeah you should lose this game”…he sounds confident in his teams ability to win.

            X – any team in the country
            Y – any team in the country excluding team X

          • Wesley Grissom

            Geez dude really how stupid are you? We aren’t talking team X and team Y I am talking team X and team X. You are a state fan, I say to you Alabama is a game we are supposed to lose. Thats defeatist? Fan of another team, team X says to another team X fan we are supposed to lose to Alabama thats not defeatist? Thats what you said when you told me that coming from a bulldog fan its defeatist thinking. I don’t think you have a clue what defeatist thinking is. The mere fact that I have to explain every example that I give is proof enough to me that you are not capable of comprehending what you read. Took me 4 posts for you to get what I was saying about not expecting Dan to do something 3 coaching legends didn’t do. Tell you what blow this post up call me Bill Clinton whatever you want to do. I don’t have the time and energy to explain everything to a grown man. I already have to do that with my 6 year old at home and I am not doing it here with you anymore.

          • Guest

            I’m not sure how stupid I am. I do know that I never said anything about Xfan saying anything to another Xfan.

            You are a State fan and tell me State is supposed to lose to Alabama. You are a defeated.

            A Arkansas fan tells another Arkansas fan they are supposed to lose to LSU. He is a defeated also.

            I never stated otherwise.

            No double standards. I am pretty sure that is a clear understanding of defeatist thinking.

            I have 3 children myself, all under the age of 5. They have forced my hand at practicing the art of patience. Good luck with your little one.

          • Wesley Grissom

            You asked me a couple posts back how did Oregon do it? I was scrolling through yahoo this morning and found this article. http://www.thepostgame.com/blog/loyalty-report/201310/oregon-ducks-1994-rose-bowl-danny-oneil-football
            One thing I noticed in this article they didn’t mention coaching one time. It was all about attitude. Coaches can teach the players everything they need to be successful, coaches can call the plays that put them in the right position to be successful. At the end of the day it comes down to the attitude of the players, attention to detail, They have to want it more than the other team does. You have to have on field leadership too. You can’t miss tackles, you can’t blow assignments. What happened for Oregon is a bunch of players came together and said we aren’t giving up. We haven’t seen this MSU team do that yet.

          • Guest

            I think if you ask people the following question:
            What or who impacts the attitude of a football team?
            You will get a combination of answers that will include: the head coach, coaching staff, winnig vs. losing, injuries, and the players themselves.

            You mentioned attention to detail, missed tackles, and blow assignments. These are all issues that need to be addressed with coaching. Players need to be coached on paying attention to datails. Players need to be coached on the proper tackling techniques. Players need to be coached on assignments.

            You admit MSU’s shortfall. We have the talent…what else could be the problem? I mean how do you compete with LSU for 3 quarters then get blown out. Are you placing that solely on the shoulders of the players? It is coaching!

          • Wesley Grissom

            You can teach proper technique all day long, you can teach the assignments all day long. Players are still going to miss tackles and blow assignments. I have watched LSU in the Georgia game, the Ole Miss game and our game miss tackle after tackle and blow assignment after assignment. Does that mean that the LSU coaching staff isn’t coaching them properly? No all it means is that they are young kids and they miss tackles and blow assignments. The coach can’t play the game for them. At the end of the day they have to have the pride in themselves to go out there and make those tackles and carry out their assignments. Even pro teams get plagued with bad tackling. I have a theory about what causes that, I call it the ESPN factor. Players at every level are looking for that highlight hit, like Clowney got against Michigan. They all want to make the spectacular hit and not have to wrap up.

            LSU game I thought the coaches asked way too much of Dak Prescott, kid’s a great runner but only a so so passer I was at home watching that game and when Dak threw that interception in the 4th qtr I could feel the air go out of the team and everybody in the stands. It was at about that point that the fans started to leave 4 minutes of game time later it was embarrassing al the empty seats in that stadium. Coaching didn’t have nearly as much to do with the LSU loss as bad execution did. It was a part yes only a fool would say otherwise. Was it bad coaching for LSU when they lost to Ole Miss? Is it time for Miles to go?

            The mere fact we were with LSU for 3 quarters shows progress is being made. Mullen talks about it all the time we have to learn to finish games and LSU is one for sure that we didn’t finish.

          • Guest

            Mullen stated ” we finished” while commenting on the Bowling Green game. Would you agree with that statement? I sure don’t, but hey, as Mullen says ” a win is a win.” Are you kidding me with this?

          • Wesley Grissom

            No we didn’t finish in that one. He did give them the opportunity when he went for the TD instead of the FG. We didn’t get it done but he had them in position to finish. I do agree a win is a win no matter how you got it. Just like a loss is a loss no matter how it happened

          • Guest

            What now…State beats lowly Kentucky by 6. State scores only 7 points in the second half. Even the commentators say State will only be able to compete for one year at best…but hey lets stick with Mullen for the long haul and ride this train in the ground. This team will not win 6 games this season.

          • Wesley Grissom

            Got to put some blame on the fanbase as well in my opinion. Go read this article and see what Saban has to say about fans leaving at halftime

            http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/ncaaf-dr-saturday/nick-saban-wants-fans-stay-whole-game-not-164341747–ncaaf.html

            If the fans don’t stay in the seats and support the team for a full 4 quarters it does affect the team on the field and in recruiting. Recruits don’t want to come play at school that doesn’t have fans that stick around the whole game. If you’ll notice from the LSU game the team went downhill around the same time the stadium started to empty out. Had to be a contributing factor along with the other factors.

          • Guest

            I totally agree…



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